TRUCK GIANT MAKES WAVES IN MARINE ENGINE MARKET
16 June 2011
One of the world's best known truck brands is beginning to make
waves in Australia - quite literally - in an arena far removed from
its usual turf.
Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL), the dominant force in the
Australian truck market for the past 22 years, is now proving its
legitimacy as a competitor in the crowded marine engine
It's been a series of baby steps for IAL's Industrial and Marine
Engines division - an offshoot of the main business - since it
opened its doors in Australia in 2008.
Since then, the division has worked hard to break into a market
dominated by entrenched industry heavyweights.
But the new IAL venture is beginning to carve out a niche in the
According to Industrial and Marine Engines Manager, Dean Whitford,
the recent installation of two Isuzu Marine engines, based on the
powerplants used in Isuzu's heavy duty Giga truck range, marked the
brand's arrival in the Australian marine world.
Both engines are now powering fishing boats - the first is a
6WG1TCX purchased by Sam Steele through Brisbane-based distributor
Zenith Engineering. This boat will shortly commence its working
life on Queensland's sunshine coast based in Mooloolaba.
The second installation took place beneath the deck of the
Arakiwa, a trawler owned by New South Wales fishing identity Paul
The seasoned fisherman says the decision to choose industry
newcomer Isuzu over more established brands came only after careful
consideration of all options.
In the end, Isuzu's power and fuel economy won the day, promising
to cut running costs and deliver extra fishing time for the crew of
"All my life I've dealt with CAT and Cummins and they've been good
engines. But this Isuzu engine is just as good, in fact better,
because of the amount of fuel I'm saving," Mr Bagnato said.
"I couldn't go past the price either, but beyond that it's all
about fuel consumption. When I went and saw Isuzu, their
projections on fuel economy left me very comfortable.
"When I tested it myself, running with the heavy net, the Isuzu
worked out to be saving me about four litres an hour.
"Over 30 hours, that's 120 litres of fuel. Over a year that's
around $12,000 to $13,000. After four or five years the engine has
paid for itself.
"While I'm saving four litres an hour, I also have more power. It
saves me around 1.5 to 2 hours getting to and from my fishing
grounds, which gives me extra time to spend trawling.
"Although I'd never use the Isuzu's maximum power, it's always
good to know I have it. It's like an extra muscle somewhere that's
put away, but if you ever need it, the power is there. And that's a
Mr Bagnato admits his decision to choose an Isuzu Marine engine
created a stir among fellow fishermen. But it's a choice that's
already paying dividends aboard the Arakiwa.
"Being the first Isuzu propulsion engine used in a trawler on the
east coast of Australia, everybody thought I was crazy to go out of
my way to do it - I mean nobody had this engine," he said.
"But I took a gamble and from what I've experienced I'd recommend
it to anyone. If there's an Isuzu engine in stock and you don't go
for it, you're crazy.
"They're beautiful engines, they tow well and they're
It's a glowing endorsement from the 41-year fishing veteran, who
has seen his share of marine engines since purchasing his first
boat at the age of 17.
Mr Whitford says the engine used in Mr Bagnato's boat is a
15.6-litre 6WG1 TCAA1K, which has an M1 rating, meaning it can run
at an output of 505hp for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"The engine comes from the same family as those used in Isuzu's
heavy duty Giga trucks," Mr Whitford said.
"The big difference between Isuzu marine engines and the
competition is their reliability under high horsepower loads, their
fuel efficiency, cleanness, smoothness of ride and low operating
"This latter point is particularly important for the guys who are
working on the boats for extended periods, especially the
commercial trawlers where the engine is always running and making
Mr Whitford said while Isuzu Industrial and Marine Engines was a
new player in the Australian market, it would make a big impact as
word spread about the product's reliability and fuel economy.
"Isuzu Marine was established in the domestic Japanese market back
in 1948 and is currently the number one marine engine supplier in
Japan for commercial applications within its range," Mr Whitford
"But Isuzu Marine Diesel Engines is still a relatively new
commodity in Australia, having only been introduced in this market
"So even though Isuzu is well-known as a truck manufacturer, with
a very high profile and a great reputation for reliability, a lot
of marine operators haven't seen our engines used in that type of
"However, we're confident that once they see what Isuzu Marine
engines have to offer, more and more people will start turning to
the brand to meet their needs."
Find out more at www.isuzudiesel.com.au.
For further information, please contact:
Manager - Industrial and Marine Engines
Phone: 03 9644 4450
For Isuzu Industrial & Marine Releases and
Phone: 03 9867 5611